Archbishop Peter Loy Chong … We are losing our interconnectedness


The Archbishop of Suva, Peter Loy Chong, has suggested that the sacred thread of connectedness in creation has been lost.

He said this in a presentation Reweaving the Ecological Mat — Ecology and Development. This was part of a series of lectures organised by the Pacific Theological College’s Institute for Mission and Research, the University of the South Pacific’s Faculty of Arts, Law and Education and the Pacific Regional Seminary around the theme “Churches in Conversation with Society on Issues that Matter”.

Chong said that in the beginning there existed an interconnectedness among all things in the whole of creation but that the sacred thread is lost.

“Today we are losing our interconnectedness. Our common home, Mother Earth, is becoming a pile of filth.

“We have to reweave the threads of our interconnectedness. Where do we look to for resources and inspiration for interconnectedness?”

As a starting point, Chong encouraged a talanoa (discussion) about what Fijians hold sacred from their cultural identities, “What is tabu for us, what our totems are. We look to indigenous and native cosmology and the spiritual traditions.”

Chong said the language of domination had desacralised creation/the environment to exploit natural resources to the point where the world is in a state of exhaustion.

Reverend James Bhagwan, known as Padre James, is Secretary for Communication and Overseas Mission for Fiji’s Methodist Church.

He used Chong’s address as the starting point for his recent opinion piece in the Fiji Times, “Science Meets Spirituality”.

He was writing at the time when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), made up of around 100 experts from over 30 countries, was meeting in Nadi.

“I was privileged to be invited to share a prayer of blessing at the official opening of this important meeting,” Bhagwan said.

“The making of a space for spirituality in a meeting of scientists was a way of framing this gathering in the context of the Pacific.

“It was also an affirmation that, in the context of climate change, spirituality and science are important strands of the ecological mat that is being rewoven.”


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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